It appears that 53 House Democrat incumbents were defeated for reelection last week. Of those 53, 50 had voted for one or more of President Obama's three most irresponsible and unpopular proposals, which could be described as the bêtes noirs of the American electorate: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka Porkulus), the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (aka, Cap and Trade), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Voting "Aye" on all three brought about the defeat of even some Democrats sitting in districts that have not voted for a Republican presidential candidate in over 20 years, to wit, Oberstar in MN-08, Hare in IL-17, Maffei in NY-25, Klein in FL-22, and Patrick Murphy in PA-08. And voting "No" on one or two of these bills was not enough to save dozens of Democrats sitting in Republican-leaning districts.
But the most impressive thing about the destructiveness of President Obama's agenda to Democrats sitting in Republican-leaning districts was that even the three Democrats who voted "No" on all three bêtes noirs could not escape the taint of the anti-Obama tidal wave that engulfed the heartland of America.
The only three Democrats to vote against each of Porkulus, Cap and Trade and Obamacare were Walt Minnick (ID-01), Gene Taylor (MS-04) and Bobby Bright (AL-02). It was not surprising that they voted against all three repulsive bills, as they represented three of the four most Republican districts currently held by Democrats: President Bush got 69% in ID-02, 68% in MS-04 and 67% in AL-02. The only other Dem-held CD in which President Bush got as high as 67% in 2004 was Chet Edwards’s TX-17, where President Bush got 69%. Minnick, Taylor and Bright lost competitive reelection races (Minnick by 9.8%, Taylor by 4.8% and Bright by 2.2%) despite avoiding the gruesome threesome of votes; Chet Edwards voted for Porkulus but then turned around and voted against Cap and Trade and Obamacare hoping to save his seat, but never really had a chance against Bill Flores and he would up losing by 25.2%.
There is a clear lesson for liberal Democrats: passing irresponsible, unpopular programs will result in Democrats sitting in conservative districts losing *even if they voted against such bills*. The D next to their names was enough to doom them, given that Obama, Pelosi and their liberal cohorts had made the word "Democrat" synonymous with irresponsibility and disregard for the will of the voters. And since there are far more conservative districts than liberal districts, liberal Democrats have doomed their party to minority status for at least the next few years (and because they poisoned the Democrat name right before an election in which control of redistricting was on the line, they will likely remain in the wilderness for at least a decade). But I will bet you a steak dinner that liberal Democrats will draw the exact opposite conclusion from what happened, and will stubbornly cling to the theory that they lost because they were too timid in passing their liberal agenda. That’s because liberals are, with notable exceptions, incapable of rational thought, in part because they do not recognize the legitimacy of rationality, and instead rely upon how they *feel* about things. Well, now they get to see how it "feels" to be in the minority for the next dozen or more years.